Author: scrooloose

I've been a gamer since a young age, my first experiences were with my old Atari 2600. Nowadays I'm a PC only guy but I also play board games and meet in a Pathfinder group once a week. And I love wrenching on cars besides.

Microsoft Now Dictating CPU Support

In its ever persistent push toward trying to force its consumers in to a Windows 10 "upgrade" Microsoft has now decided that they will not add updates for previous versions of Windows to allow support for next-generation CPUs. Their reason for that decision is that it's just too much work.

This means that PC users that run Windows 7 or 8.1 will need to upgrade to be able to use the newest processors from AMD or Intel. Next-gen CPUs like Intel's Kaby Lake, and AMD's Bristol Ridge or others like Qualcomm's newest mobile processor will be shut out of anything south of Windows 10. No other operating system will be supported.

Even some of the current generation CPUs will lose their support. Intel's Skylake for instance. Microsoft will guarantee support for its business consumers until July of 2017. Then it's Windows 10 or you're out of luck. Thankfully though, loss of CPU support doesn't mean that the latest security and OS updates won't continue. But after that 18 month period that Microsoft is allowing, those updates will only be the most critical ones needed.

[feature image credit here]

I Played Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition…

...And it was great! Here's my review of this very underrated title.

As always, click an image to full size it.

Ok, so back in November of 2015 Nordic Games released the Darksiders 2 Dethinitive Edition. There was a customer loyalty package that was a bit controversial. It involved different tiers of ownership allowing different levels of discounts for the game including a free version for certain folks. Anyway, long story short, turns out I still had to pay for it, and I strongly considered not buying it at all. Albeit this fee for me was minimal at a mere $6.00, why would I spend money on a game that I already had?visual5Well, I'll tell you what made me pull the trigger and buy it. THQ (the original owners of Darksiders IP) filed for Bankruptcy back in 2012 so that meant no more Darksiders for us fans. This was a sad day. So, Nordic Games picked up ownership along with some of the original folks from Vigil Games, now called Gunfire Games, and remastered Darksiders 2. They released that as the Darksiders 2 Dethinitive Edition. This is the game itself along with all the DLC in one package remastered for 1080p and 60fps. All this is great, but the kicker for me was that this release was also an experiment in people's interest in the Darksiders series in general because Nordic wants to plan Darksiders 3.

Awesome, I want Darksiders 3. I bought the game for the modest $6.00 and I hope, hope, hope, that a lot of other folks did too so that we get a 3rd title. And to anyone out there with the same interest or even a passing interest in the series, I want to suggest the purchase. It's $30 on Steam, you'll get the game, some special weapons and armors that are genuinely useful for your play through. You'll also get three bonus campaigns that yield even more rewards and around six to eight hours of extra content. It's worth the buy even if you don't care about the continuation of the series.ConstructOk boring blah blah information over. Let's talk about the game now.

So we ended the first Darksiders with War in serious trouble from the bosses, what with allegedly beginning an unsanctioned apocalypse and all. You know... that old chestnut. Well, in Darksiders 2 you'll play as the Rider of Death. Now, Death believes his Brother War, is innocent and it's all a setup. So he sets out to prove the facts and ends up battling for the very existence of many worlds. His journey takes him through the Forgelands of the Makers, through barren plains of the Realm of the Dead, to the pious towers of the Angels, the black evil world of Demonkind, and even Earth itself.title1Death finds allies and enemies everywhere he goes but his mindset is only that he must help his brother War, any way that he can. Characters are thought out and each one has meaning and an impact on the story. Death himself, voiced by Michael Wincott, is an extremely memorable character. On the one hand he is a genuinely scary guy, he has little patience, he's known everywhere as being capable of terrifying power even though the story itself exclaims he's never at full strength throughout the game, and he rides a very scary horse named Despair. On the other hand, Death is an honorable individual, one could argue the he's even caring as he desperately wants to save his brother's very soul. He's reasonable and has no interest in needlessly killing. Death also carries a lot of emotional conflict but I don't want to spoil things for those who haven't played yet.visual 1platformingOk, so if Zelda and Kratos met at a cocktail party and they snuck up stairs to find an unlocked room and then did it on every surface resulting in a nine month gestation period that produced a child with properties of both parents, that's Darksiders 2. Death is a badass, powerful and respected, even feared everywhere he goes. But getting wherever he goes requires platforming, collecting items, keys, treasures, and of course slaying countless monsters, demons, and bosses while traversing many worlds. If you haven't guessed yet, this is a 3rd person ARPG. Darksiders 2 Dethinitive Edition, is full of action and exploration with a fair amount of puzzle solving as well.visual 4black stoneCombat is a very functional and fun combination of skill and button mashing. Death has a moves list and can even talk to a trainer to gain more advanced move based attacks. There are two skill trees in the leveling system that give Death abilities as he levels up. He's got the Harbinger tree, which focuses on raw strength, critical strikes and heavy melee damage to defeat his Foes. On the other side Death has the Necromancer tree which focuses more on arcane damage, self shielding and summoning allies for help defeating his enemies. Weapons and armor are varied and will reflect those skills. Death's main weapons are of course his double scythes, fast and versatile in battle. He'll also find secondary weapons in the form of slower two handed axes, hammers, glaives, and various fist weapons that allow for fast attacks and damage reduction. On top of that there are tons of models for all of these, so it never feels boring. Death also acquires his brother Strife's pistol, Redemption allowing for quick ranged attacks. All of these weapons and abilities can be used in combination during combat making fights a shit load of fun. skill treeWorth noting as well for those of us who are just sick of it, is that there are quite happily no quick time events in Darksiders 2. The closest we get to that is when Death weakens a foe enough to execute them. This will mark the enemy and when the player hits the "interact" button Death will instantly kill that enemy in a dramatic fashion. Or the occasional button mash to break free of being frozen in place, but thankfully this title lets us players fight our own battles.

During the game's story Death also procures special abilities that help him traverse the world and can even help in combat. These abilities will also unlock access to items and chests and hidden areas in places he's already been. Exploration is very helpful, look in every corner, nook and cranny. For a lot of people this game mechanic is tedious, but I'll say now that backtracking is minimal and totally optional. I for one love this mechanic when it's handled properly and Darksiders 2 certainly did that, the rewards can be immensely helpful.leviathan1 leviathanGraphics in the Dethinitive Edition, are remastered and they look great. This game is a few years old now, and that's evident just because of the limitations of the game's engine. But man it's held up well. Textures and lighting are great, especially for a game of it's age with no tessellation and little to no displacement mapping. Check out the great bump mapped surfaces here in this image below. Get up close to that wall and turn the camera though and you'll see it's just a plain flat surface. lighting

The only complaint I have speaking to graphics is that there are times when this game doesn't really gel with the newer shaders supported by todays GPU's, resulting in some very occasional pixelation. Really though, this is nit picking.

Level design is fluid and interesting, and each area is filled with super cool visuals. The art direction is stylized and really one of my favorite types of presentation. The folks in charge of creature design deserve medals. Some of the lesser monsters seem kind of generic but I'm talking about things like skeletons here, and really how many differences can one put in to a skeleton. My favorite creatures are the enormous leviathans that are forced into servitude by the Lord of Bones and made to pull his ghost ship through the skies of the Realm of the Dead. Death's horse Despair, looks appropriately scary. A sort of emaciated, undead animal surrounded by a swirling cloud of captured souls. Character design in general is really cool, everyone from the Makers to the Demon Lords are uniquely built.despairdespair1Speaking of characters, let's talk about them a bit, hopefully without spoiling anything for anyone who has yet to play this great title. I'll start with the Makers. These ancient peoples live in the Forge Lands and are responsible for the creation of many worlds. They're a spiritual but pragmatic bunch, and are basically big mountain dwarves.maker

Next a brief talk of the Undead Lords in the Realm of the Dead. Well, very brief really. I can't say much about them without loosing spoilers on the unsuspecting. Other than to say that they are a spectral bunch who Death struggles to get along with.draven

The Angels of Lost Light, are not the typical bright and holy beings people believe them to be. Instead they're more like zealotous soldiers for their great Archon. They are also the sole occupants of the now post apocalyptic Earth that War, left behind. Tenuous allies, but allies none-the-less.angel

The Black Stone is home to the Demon Lords. These folks are few and about as trustworthy as one could expect. Unfortunately this is an area that Death spends very little time in. This kind of sucks because there's a really great game mechanic here that isn't used anywhere else.lillith

Music is also very nice in Darksiders 2, in the fact that most of it is just there for ambience, playing subtly in the background providing mood for each area. During combat it's a bit more in the foreground, which makes sense, since the mood focuses on what's happening right now in fight situations. And in fact there's a soundtrack for sale separately for $5.00.

Dialogue options are usually pretty clear and voice acting is very good. Each character has something unique to contribute to Death's story, so talk to everyone. Quest lines are easy to follow and marked clearly on both the world and local maps. Fast travel is available from the overworld map itself but the way it's handled takes some getting used to. Instead of clicking on where you want to go, you'll have to drag the entire map to align the location with a sort of box type crosshair. Once that's done you'll have the opportunity to select it for travel. This of course doesn't work in combat but it can be pretty convenient because if you're in a dungeon and find yourself full of inventory items, or perhaps out of health potions you can fast travel from right where you are to a safe area. This will leave a waypoint where you were in the dungeon to travel back to once you've restocked supplies and sold your overburden lessening down time greatly.mapLike every game, this one has it's issues. The platforming for instance is pretty polished, but it's not perfect. There are times when climbing a surface that controls may be less than responsive while trying to leap to another, or just let go. There's nothing game breaking about this, it's just a slight frustration. Even if Death falls off a ledge to his...uhh...death, it's no big deal. He just respawns nearest to where he leapt off as he can be, with no penalties other than having to get back to where he needs to go. He is Death afterall, pretty hard to kill a guy who is the personification of the action. This game is also very good with its autosaves. Which is nice because I experienced a few game crashes here and there for which I could never find a pattern. It was rare but it happened, and seemingly at random.

UPDATE: I may have found a pattern to the seemingly random crashes in-game. They seem to happen only during combat and so far the pattern seems to be during a particularly damaging "Harvest" attack that hits a large group of enemies. I've been able to re-create the situation a couple of times now. Let me know in comments if anyone else has found this to be true as well. -Thanks.climbingAnd of course there must be the obligatory area that everyone hates to have to do. That particular place in Darksiders 2 is called the Soul Arbiter's Maze, and luckily for all of us it's totally optional. I highly recommend completing this section of the game anyway because the rewards are worth it. There are map pages throughout the dead realm that tell you exactly how to get through, it's just that the maze itself is tedious. So here's the rundown. You'll enter the maze and be warned that once you start you can't leave unless you complete it or die trying. That statement refers to each stage of the maze, not the entire maze itself. You'll spawn into a circular arena with cardinal directions posted around you. The objective is to fight all the enemies that challenge you in the room to unlock the exit portals and then travel in the direction you need to go. Each room is the same as the last for each section and you'll gain zero experience for combat in any of them except the boss room. This is done to prevent level farming but it still blows. Each stage has an optional secret that you can reach by going in the proper direction before you progress downward and the rewards can be very helpful. There is no reverse travel. So I'll lay out a stage arbitrarily to provide an example. Enter room: fight monsters, travel North, repeat the previously stated, travel West, repeat, travel South, Open secret chest and collect reward. Enter room, fight monsters, travel West, repeat, travel North, repeat, travel North, repeat, travel West, progress to next stage. If Death is defeated or makes a wrong turn he must start the entire stage over. There are ten stages of this and then a boss. It's slow, boring, tedious work but there is a reason to do it.

This brings me to boss battles, which are really well thought out, great fights that include mechanics and require strategies to complete successfully. This can be anything from learning when to dodge an attack, or run in a circle and avoid projectiles, to using special acquired abilities at the proper moment. Every boss encounter is satisfying to play out. Perhaps one of the first actual bosses you'll see comes from a side quest and is an elemental construct called Gorewood. It's a hulking swamp monster that hits like a truck and also fires a sort of homing projectile that will engulf Death and root him in place while doing damage over time and the player must mash a button to break free. So learning the battle is pretty fun. The fight takes place in a semi-watery open area. You'll learn the telegraphs and when to dodge Gorewood's physical attacks and fight back when you can, and you'll also learn that the projectile is avoidable. If Death can't avoid the projectile it's best to make sure he's on a dry spot in the area when it hits him since the DoT won't hurt Death if he's on dry land. He'll still be stuck in place, but won't take a potentially fight ending amount of damage. Every boss is unique and everyone has their favorites, one of my personal favorites is The Wailing Host boss, but I won't go into the fight.wailing hostOne of the great things about Darksiders 2 is that there's a new game plus mode. I've always had love for that option. Also beating the campaign unlocks new difficulty modes that differ from the difficulty slide bar in the options menu. New game plus is necessary to complete an area called The Crucible, another optional arena with waves of monsters, though not as tedious as the Soul Aribiter's Maze. This one has 100 levels and a boss, but it contains legendary items and there's no maze aspect. I started new game plus a day or so ago and I'm still loving the time spent playing.cruciblevisual 3Ok, ok, that's about enough from me on this title so I'll go ahead and conclude this. Would I recommend Darksiders 2 Dethinitive Edition? Yes, I think it's worth the current asking price of $30.00 and if you don't agree then I imagine it'll be on sale here and there so keep an eye out. It's definitely worth playing through at least once, and so by the way is the first Darksiders game. War is whole different animal than Death and his story and struggle is just as interesting to go through. I really hope Nordic will bring a 3rd installment to the table and do so without changing too much of what makes this series great. Rumor has been going around and I've even seen articles that claim to confirm it, but provide no real confirmation. Guys, if you like great story telling, gear hunting, and exploration of well designed visually impressive areas, then you'll love this game.

System Requirements for Darksiders 2 Dethinitive Edition are as follows:

MINIMUM:
OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista SP1, Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 (64bit)
Processor: 2.0Ghz Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor or AMD equivalent
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA 9800 GT 512 MB Video Card or AMD equivalent
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 13 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX compatible Sound card

RECOMMENDED:
OS: Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 (64bit)
Processor: Any Quad-core AMD or Intel Processor
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 512MB Video Card or AMD equivalent
DirectX: Version 9.0c
Storage: 13 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX compatible Sound card

 

Just Cause 3: Blowing stuff up and Admiring the View – A review from Scroo

Well as with everything fun and exciting, there must be an end. Just Cause 3 has been recently finished and it held its share of surprises. This was a fun one guys, read on for my thoughts on this crazy destruction sandbox game.

A quick run down for those who don't already know: Just Cause 3, is an open world action adventure game where you play as Dictator Removal Specialist, Rico Rodriguez. Your goal? To liberate the island Nation of Medici from an oppressive ruler by destroying all the government infrastructure you can see by any means you have at your disposal.big baseSo that's the plot in a nutshell. Though even with the very close similarities between all the games in this series, Just Cause 3 actually has a little deeper story. You'll just have to work a bit to see it told, as the games story missions only cover the necessary elements to get you through to the end. The rest of the finer details are found through collecting scraps of an audio diary told from the perspective of the dictator himself, Sebastiano Di Ravello. We even get to learn some of Rico's own history in this game. Now, this is certainly not story telling on the level of let's say The Witcher series, but for an action arcade, "being a badass" game Just Cause 3 is actually pretty interesting.

Even some of the characters in this title are a little more fleshed out and memorable. We meet Rico's childhood friend Mario Frigo, early on and he's a kind of sleezy, weasel of a guy but he's actually pretty likeable as well. He wants to be at the forefront of the action right along with Rico, but he possesses none of the skills so he tends to be the guy Rico looks after more than the guy he fights along side. But even though he's a bit of hindrance, Mario plays a lasting part in the story and is really a true friend to Rico. I don't want to go in too deep so I don't spoil it for anyone who's interested in the game. It's just nice to have relatable characters in a game where causing havoc with no regard to safety is the main goal. By the way the image below is not of Mario, just a couple more interesting folks.annikanteoSo back on day one of the release I mentioned things like long load screens and lots of cut scenes etc. that slow down the games movement and kind of break up the flow. Well, the good thing is that after the initial training and first couple of missions you're free to go about your business however you see fit. This helps to minimise load screens and it's pretty cool to be able to go anywhere at any time and even just skip the story mode if you choose to. There are only a few large military bases that pretty much have to be liberated by playing the story missions. Freedom of exploration has always been a big deal in this series and it's good that Just Cause 3 has kept that going.viewSomething else I mentioned in my first impression that I should revise here is that the main enemy in the game is the Di Ravello Militia. So the game has you literally fighting DRM. But when you start the game up it logs you in to your Square Enix account and makes you take part in leaderboard nonsense and what have you. One could argue as I did that is in fact drm in itself. However even with all the seemingly mandatory login stuff it's not actually mandatory. Here's why. So you start the game, and before you even get menu options, you're logged in. However if your login fails for some reason or you happen to lose your connection in game, it makes no difference. You're not kicked out to the main menu or removed from play, instead you just can't take part in the leaderboards until the connection is reestablished. So yes, drm in the fact that you have no choice in being connected or not, but not drm in the fact that if you do lose a connection you can still play in offline mode. The worst of it is that the game will pause while it tries to reconnect, this only takes a few moments and also only when you open your map which effectively pauses the game anyway so who cares. For PC at least, you'll even be able to go into offline mode through Steam and still play with the same results, just no leaderboards. So in my opinion this is in fact pretty well handled drm-ish material and has little to no effect on game play.

So, on to the fictional Island of Medici. This is a really pretty place guys. The landscape is beautiful and feels very natural. You'll see these really lovely cliffs and hills, fields dotted with ancient ruins and small charming Mediterranean coastal villages filled with people going about their every day lives. You'll see folks driving on the roads, working fields on tractors, tourists taking selfies and talking on cell phones it all feels very normal and work-a-day until you hear the propaganda being spouted by speakers mounted near buildings and on vans driving around town. You'll see billboards and statues dedicated to the vanity of Di Ravello. Militia will always be near by, armed and ready to strong arm anyone who steps out of line. This is a beautiful place idyllic in it's very nature, but everywhere you look there is a military presence. It really sets the mood, and puts you in the shoes of a guy who can make a difference.Helicopter waterpretty placeGraphically, this is a wonder. Just Cause 3 has a 400 square mile, seamless map. View distances are great, you can literally see for miles. The ocean surrounding Medici is one of the best and most real feeling I've seen in a game. You'll be able to see deep in to the water and watch the waves roll in. The further out you look you'll see white caps and larger swells. The lighting is wonderful and volumetric. Clouds and trees cast rays when the sun is behind them. When it rains everything gets wet and after the storm has passed you're left with puddles in the roads that dry slowly over time. Get in a helicopter and hover it close to the ground and you'll see dust fly and vegitation fluttering under the heavy wind it causes. Likewise with water. The UI is a little noisy, it makes sure to put everything right in your face so you can see it, but it's not too tough to tune out once you get used to it. Particle effects are of course amazing, because you can't give players the option to blow up everything from gas cans to fuel storage tanks to mega sized bucket wheel excavators without having excellent particle effects. The game runs great as well, very optimised. I experienced very few frame drops overall, which is saying a lot for a game with a map this big running at max settings.

My system is a few years old now with a couple of more modern upgrades but I'm running an AMD Phenom 2, 3.3gz 6 core 1100T processor coupled with an AMD XFX R9 280x GPU with 3 gigs on board video ram and 16gigs of 1600 mhz system ram. Also my games drive is a standard 7200 rpm, 2 terabyte HDD, so I don't even have the added access speed from an SSD. For those who can utilize it, this game also supports 4k resolution.excavatorsphere tankA side note here, the devs put in these cool tributes to loved ones. I just feel this is worth mentioning.tributeThere were some initial issues for us AMD users who had these crazy tears in the world due to some updates that came from the new Crimson graphics drivers themselves. I showed a screenshot of that back here. This wasn't Avalanche's fault everyone, leave them alone in that matter and keep in mind that a fix is in the works. For me and many others the latest beta driver updates from AMD fixed the issue. This wasn't case for everyone, but reverting to older drivers should fix that problem as well.

Sounds are also super good. Wind whips through your ears while you're parachuting or wingsuiting. Cars and boats have great engine noises, aircraft are loud and very realistic. You'll have the chance on many occasions to just stand there and listen to jet take off from a runway and I suggest doing it. Weapon noises and explosions sound pretty convincing as well. Overall there's a very visceral feeling to it all.

Gameplay itself is fun, even though there are really only a few things to do to progress in the game. It's a matter of how you go about doing those things that gives Just Cause 3 it's variety. You can choose to assault a base on foot with the good old run and gun up close and personal attitude, which works just fine and is a lot of fun. You can also assault that same base by jumping in a stolen military tank and firing cannon rounds at everything, also very satisfying. You can fly in with a helicopter and fire rockets or missiles, or swoop in on a bomber and crater the place. You can skydive from a cliff overlooking it all and just parachute in guns blazing, throwing grenades and liberate the whole place without ever touching the ground. These and many other ways to accomplish your goals will help remove some of the repetitiveness that can take place when the excitement of having an infinite parachute, a retractable grappling hook and access to pretty much any weapon and vehicle you want wears off.  I mean, honestly would you just walk up to an enemy and shoot them with your pistol to get the job done? Or would you instead take a liking to spearing them with a grappling hook then attaching the other end to a near by gas bottle so you can shoot that then sit back and watch the guy rocket hundreds of feet in the air ending in an explosion that happens to bring down an enemy helicopter that was flying too close? If you chose the first option then you're better off going back to Halo or something.

I never noticed the game to be particularly difficult. Most enemies aren't very tough, and Rico can take a lot of punishment. Even if you are defeated, your progress up to that point is saved so it means very little. I guess I'm saying if you're looking for a challenge, this isn't really going to scratch that itch. But if you want to have fun in a great and many times even humorous setting, this is your jam. infinite parachuteparachuteJust Cause 3 gives players a few more options than just liberating bases and towns. You'll unlock challenges that earn you points toward improving the effectiveness of your gear. There are daredevil jumps when the goal is to grab a car or motorcycle and drive super fast off a big ramp over a thousand foot drop and score points based on how cool you did it. There's also a bomb blast mode where you'll be given a vehicle with a big bomb that will explode if you drive to slow, but if you make it to your goal and bail out before it explodes it will just blow the absolute crap out of the enemy you're targeting. And... you can choose to drive that vehicle in to a military base if you wish and blow that up instead. There are wing suit courses, plane and helicopter courses and boat races. There's this really cool grappling hook trial where you're given a vehicle and what equates to a magnet. You attach the magnet to the vehicle and drive around collecting a mineral to drop in a pit while the military is trying to blast you away. The goal of all these challenges is to unlock things for your gear, I.E. stronger cables for your grappling hook, and different modes for your planted explosives etc. After you beat the game you can even revert towns and bases to their oppressed state so you can liberate them again. Awesome replay-ability.

I'd also Like to give props to the design teams. They actually made some original and really cool vehicles for this game. Plus if you can see it, you can drive it. Just bring it to a garage and Mario will chop it for you allowing the rebels to drop it wherever you may need it. This includes all vehicles: cars, motorcycles, boats, tanks, planes and helicopters. A rebel drop will also give you weapons and ammo if you so choose. To get a rebel drop you'll need to use a beacon that Rico throws on the ground. These beacons are refillable at various places throughout Medici.carracecarcarsSomething I just can't stand about the game though is a thing like, $25 dlc on day one of release. This of course spans more than just the Just Cause 3 game, it's a widespread problem. Xcom 2 will also have day one dlc, in fact it's on sale already and the game's now due out until February. This is just in general a bad way to release games. There's no reason why these skins and color changes shouldn't be unlocked through playing a game we've already purchased. Especially because if developers have the time to create dlc that goes on sale immediately, then they should be able to release a bug-free product (ahem, Bethesda). And what's with the prices guys? At least make the incentive to buy worth it.

Anyway, my play through took me around 60 hours. This is a pretty good play value in my opinion. The story itself is probably only worth about 12 to 15 hours of play time if you just skip the liberations and blow through story mode only. However this is a game about being awesome. Think of Rico as a character from the Expendables movies. Of course you're gonna blow shit up! This is rediculous fun that had me actually laughing and wide eyed through most of it.

Would I recommend Just Cause 3? Yes, I would certainly recommend it. If you're looking for mindless fun or a playable action movie this is your game. As well as the other Just Cause titles. I might suggest waiting for a sale only because if you've played the other games in the series then you've played this one as well. But I definitely liked Just Cause 3 and I'm sure you guys will too.

System requirements for Just Cause 3 are as follows.

MINIMUM:
OS: Vista SP2 / Windows 7.1 SP1 / Windows 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required)
Processor: Intel Core i5-2500k, 3.3GHz / AMD Phenom II X6 1075T 3GHz
Memory: 6 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 (2GB) / AMD Radeon HD 7870 (2GB)
Storage: 54 GB available space

RECOMMENDED:
OS: Vista SP2 / Windows 7.1 SP1 / Windows 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required)
Processor: Intel Core i7-3770, 3.4 GHz / AMD FX-8350, 4.0 GHz
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 (3GB) / AMD R9 290 (4GB)
Storage: 54 GB available space

Here are some more screens from Medici. Just stuff too cool not to share.

archesskull rockcorvettesea cave cloud rays easter egg snowmanview3

 

I Did a Timed Lap Around Medici in Just Cause 3

So I was playing with boats in Just Cause 3 and I decided, just 'cause (see what I did there?), to see just how long it would take to encircle the islands and then bore you guys with some math about the whole experience. So I had the rebel forces drop me a fast boat and I set up my stop watch. The image below shows the path I took.Lap-mapJust Cause 3 has a map size that claims 400 square miles, which translated puts the playable area at around 1036 square kilometers. My trip around Medici didn't include the Volcano in the northwest portion of the map, nor did it include Boom Island to the far southwest, which is covered by the logo in the image above. I chose to circle the islands central to play and I started and ended the trip to the far southeast at one of the bases in Sirocco Sud. Travel was done clockwise around the islands giving the land a fair berth to avoid restricted areas and slow speeds.

I did this with a series of way points and by the time the test was over I had traveled a distance of 85 kilometers or around 52 miles and it took me 48 minutes and 20 seconds at around an average speed of 62 knots, or 115.9 kilometers per hour, or 72 miles per hour.  Calculated that puts the area inside my travel at around 216 square miles or 559 square kilometers. So if it were a real place the island of Medici would be roughly comparable in size to the Isle Of Man between Ireland and the U.K. which weighs in at around 221 square miles, or 572 square kilometers.Isle_of_ManPerspective can be pretty cool. On the one hand 400 square miles is a big ass area and a huge achievement to create in a game world. Props to Avalanche. On the other hand in real life terms there have been wildfires that size here in California in fairly recent history. For instance, the Rim fire burned very close to where I live and covered a little over 400 square miles.

Another thing Just Cause 3 has is probably the best ocean I've seen built in a game. Now facts aside, here are a few screen shots from JC3 boat trip!2015-12-04_00016 2015-12-04_00019 2015-12-04_00023 2015-12-04_00025

[Credit for the image of the Isle Of Man here]

 

Just cause 3: First Explosion… I mean Impression

Rico's back everyone! He's blowing stuff up for justice!

Did you guys ever play Just Cause? Just Cause 2? Well this is those games but with a "3" at the end. Join me now for my first impression of the first couple of hours of Just Cause 3.Rico

So the first thing I noticed when I loaded up for the first time is holy shit these load screens are long. Like, there was a point when I first started the game that I thought it had locked up before the menu options even loaded. So I got up to get some coffee, cos yeah I play games in the morning, and when I got back the screen said "Performing online login"; oh good, login DRM. Aaaanywho, the menu finally loaded and I checked all my options, and set things the way I wanted them. By the way, make sure you guys do this because it won't set a native screen display for you. Other than that the menu auto detects your system specs. Then I loaded my new game and was greeted by some pretty cool cinematic intro stuff. plane wing viewJC3 is of course an action game that is presented as an action movie from the very start. I liked that quite a bit honestly. No boring slow tutorial screen, you're just thrown in to the action with a few "press this button now to learn" type of things and before you know it you're blowing stuff up and laughing your head off.tankThe biggest problem I had, and it was big folks, is that I recently updated my graphics drivers and that caused huge holes in the world. Well you know, the game world, not the actual world. Anyway turns out AMD didn't properly support JC3 in their latest driver suite so that was an issue that needed solving. Luckily the newest beta drivers over at AMD fixed that for me and most everyone with that problem. I happen to run an R9 280x, but not everyone with an AMD video card has this problem. According to various discussions about the subject, AMD is working with the JC3 teams to solve the issue with a full update soon. See the tearing of the world below.graphic bugsgraphic bugs 2Ok, on to interesting stuff. Just Cause has always been about discreetly overthrowing a corrupt government by quietly marauding your way through an island nation secretly destroying everything as loudly as possible. Right so words like quiet and discreet aren't really in Rico's vocabulary but the point is, Just Cause 3 is still just about liberating the downtrodden from an oppressive ruler. And man it's fun! I just wish the game would let you have fun. To paraphrase Demetri Martin, Sometimes when I'm giving and example I don't use the phrase, for example, instead I use something such as, such as for example. So for example, one of the first missions is "get to the rebels" you are given something such as a helicopter to do that and you have about one minute to complete the objective. If you don't get there in one minute, you fail, a long load screen comes up and you start over. Ugh. It seems about every 45 seconds there's a new load screen leading to a cinematic that leads to another load screen then you can play again. This is pretty damn annoying.

You'll also be greeted by this ever so subtle mission complete screen when you're done with something. you know, in case you weren't sure.mission completeHopefully such as in Just Cause 2, this will lessen and even fall away completely as you progress and missions become longer etc. Don't get me wrong this game is crazy from the get go, but there's a lot to contend with just to be allowed to actually play. Once the training is over with you'll have your freedom to explore and choose missions as you see fit. Oh and yeah, since you're playing online all the time there's some bullshit leaderboard nonsense to see too.mission screenVehicle control is a little lacking but really it's just something to get used to. Cars, turn really slow then suddenly dive one direction or another. Aircraft seem to handle better, but Ive only used a helicopter so far so I can't say much about that.HelicopterGraphically, this is a great looking and well optimised game. Textures are nice, especially the water. Character, world and object modeling looks great. Animations are fairly good as well, aside from spinning like a top when you turn your character around. Particle effects are of course epic because you can't have mass explosions without great particle effects. View distance is long even with options turned down, which is cool because it's important to be able to see a long ways out in these games. JC3 runs perfect on the highest settings with my now three year old system, so chances are good that it will run great on yours as well. Frame rate is sadly locked at 30fps, boo to that, But it feels smooth regardless. Hopefully Avalanche or Squeenix or whoever's in charge will unlock that later on. cliff jumpAnyway, I'm gonna conclude this because after all this is a first impression not a full review. So, long load screens and some general annoyances aside, I'll say that at least so far I would recommend Just Cause 3. It's the same as it's predecessors, but who cares? It's mindless arcade fun. This is a game about action and pure entertainment. This is a world where you can launch a grappling hook at a helicopter, throw the pilot out, get in and aim said chopper at a fuel station, jump out and open up a wing suit, fly to the ground and turn your back just in time to not look at the explosion! I love run on sentences.

System Requirements for Just Cause 3 are as follows:
MINIMUM:
OS: Vista SP2 / Windows 7.1 SP1 / Windows 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required)
Processor: Intel Core i5-2500k, 3.3GHz / AMD Phenom II X6 1075T 3GHz
Memory: 6 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 (2GB) / AMD Radeon HD 7870 (2GB)
Storage: 54 GB available space

RECOMMENDED:
OS: Vista SP2 / Windows 7.1 SP1 / Windows 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required)
Processor: Intel Core i7-3770, 3.4 GHz / AMD FX-8350, 4.0 GHz
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 (3GB) / AMD R9 290 (4GB)
Storage: 54 GB available space

 

 

Divinity: Original Sin, Enhanced Edition -A Review From Scroo

So guys, the time is here. Ive been playing Divinity: Original Sin, Enhanced Edition pretty religiously since it's release in October, and after around 100 hours of play time, I'm sad to say it's done. Below you will find my review of this beautifully crafted turn based RPG and I'll admit straight off that I'm a bit biased because this game is in my opinion one of, if not the best, RPG of it's type out there now. So without further ado....title load screen1Those of you who know about Divinity: Original Sin, already know that folks who own the game got a free copy of the enhanced edition. Original Sin is a really great game with a beautifully lit, well crafted world containing excellent dialogue that tells a very good, if a bit predictable, story. When it was released the enhanced edition brought to the table something like 1300 changes and additions. Some of the most immediately noticeable of these are the now fully voice acted cast, the 360 degree camera controls, Direct X 11 support and greatly reduced load screen times. Many, many more changes become evident as you play, even some extra content and the free inclusion of the DLC from Original Sin.

So here's the rundown: When you start a new game you'll have the choice of playing in single player mode where you can either play by yourself or with a friend in split screen. Or you can choose multiplayer, where you'll begin a game online and can then invite your friends to join your game and play cooperatively. The single player and multiplayer options do use different save files though, so there's no playing your online characters in offline mode. Luckily you'll have the availability of creating multiple profiles so you can have an online game with friends on one profile while playing your single player game on another. Either way you'll be creating and playing two characters that are referred to as Source Hunters.

"Source" is the game's name for magic and was tainted eons ago by an ancient evil. As a result it's not looked upon happily by most people and the Source Hunters are there to find "Sourcerers" and judge them. Not all Source is bad however, as the game tells you early on, but the lines are very vague and you'll be seeing and using many different types throughout your time playing so it's mostly a story item. Soon, you two Source Hunters are pulled away from what's to be your first assignment and drawn in to a world changing event. Thus begins your quest to be all that you can be and save the world.academyPretty typical plot line, but where Divinity differs is that as your characters will constantly change their opinions about things. This is handled by you as the player, both through dialogue options with NPCs and your individual party members. You might even draw different conclusions between your two main characters resulting in an argument that is to be solved with a mini-game. Dialogues can and often will change your characters traits and those traits have a direct effect on how other NPC's and even your own party members treat you. Just remember that the things you say in dialogues have consequences. Even though these changes won't directly affect the story itself, they do help the story to be told in a way that feels so much deeper and a lot less linear than the typical "Chosen one saves the world" path.

To get started you'll be put into a tutorial area that will run you through movement, party selection, inventory and character screens, camera controls etc. and very soon you'll be in the action. Rivellon itself, this is the world where Divinity: Original Sin takes place, is  utterly beautiful. The maps are richly colored and well lit, the layouts are sensible, and the locales are pretty nice to look at. There are times when you might be traveling through an area and there will be a break in the trees opening up to a far off view and this kind of thing is really eye-catching to me. Texture resolution isn't crazy high but it's by no means blotchy or ugly. The lava and magma textures in particular are pretty superb. There is a depth of field option in the menu if you hate that blur in the background that's out of focus. Overall though this game is as beautiful to look at as it is to play.

As always, click on images to see them full size

jungle viewJungle bridgeGarden viewExploration is totally free except for a few locked doors early on that the local guards won't open until you're considered strong enough, but feel free to run around and talk to everybody. NPCs are useful, mostly. Some of them have canned dialogue but lots of them actually have something to say, and quite a few of them have side quests to pick up and perform. Even some animals have quests for you, pick up the "pet friend" skill and you'll see for yourself. And folks, I really suggest trying to do every quest and side quest that is available to do. Rewards are usually good, but really what you're looking for with questing (aside from story progression) is experience. Monsters don't respawn, so you can't just go grind a level to catch up if you chose not to deliver that note in your pack.

Quests in Divinity are not level based. That is to say the log doesn't suggest what level you should be to take something on, and some quests will last you through several areas in the game with many ways to progress. It's up to you to decide if and when you're ready to take something on. Some quests require the solving of puzzles, which can be quite a challenge. If you get stuck, just stop and think, and take a look around, they're very solvable. Remember that pet friend skill? Maybe try talking to a passing rat, they can help with hints in tough situations. lava pathSpeaking of puzzles: One place I never finished fully was a point later in the game that required the placement of characters on pressure plates to open doors in specific areas that require teleporting and just too much sequencing for me to want to finish. Luckily enough for me that area only had one necessary line of progression and the rest was optional so it was fine, but I would have had to check a walk-through to make it through there with total completion.templeSave your game often and use multiple save points. Combat can be very challenging, which is wonderful in a world of games that give you a "win button". If you find yourself getting your posterior served to you on a shiny plate, try reloading your game and coming at the fight from a different angle; and remember, ambushes happen pretty often so it's easy to be caught off guard. A suggestion from me is that every fight you win, make sure you heal your party up to full and wait for your cooldowns to refresh. The downtime is minimal and it'll save you some frustration in case you move three steps and start another fight when you're not at 100%. Battles are handled very well, balance is pretty even until you're much stronger when you'll be outnumbered... a lot. Winning a fight that has had you pulling your hair out is really satisfying especially when you hit the alt key and see all that precious loot on the ground. And what's great is that if you find yourself just stuck regardless, you can often just go back to town and buy some scrolls or upgrade your gear to give yourself a bit of an upper hand. The game gives you everything you need to make your play time successful.lava buildingtexture closeupI can't talk about combat without going into systems a bit. So, when you're just moving about the world it's a click and move ARPG type system. However when you start combat this initiates turn based mode. Your characters will stand in formation and the game will begin to determine your place in battle by your stat numbers. Characters with higher initiative will have a place in battle earlier than those with lower initiative, I.E. Rangers, Rogues etc. Higher strength will allow the use of heavier gear and affect the damage output of melee characters. I.E. knights, fighters, etc. One character at a time will have their turn in battle and will be using their Action Points to perform actions and move across the battlefield. These action points and skill costs in battle are also affected by your character's stats.combat spidercombat demonDon't worry though this is not nearly as complicated as it sounds. The game does a great job at making things clear to you. Explanations are available with a little mouse hovering and the information is clear and easy to understand. Not to mention you have all the time you want to make a decision, there's no timer on a character's turn. Have a party member with the "Lore Master" skill? Right click on an enemy and examine them to see their strengths and vulnerabilities. Have a party member who's skills would be best applied after the battle is a bit further in? Just delay their turn until the end of the set. Character skills and spells will work with and against each other though their own effects and the environment. So if your in combat and are suddenly lit on fire by a flaming archer, one of your party might cast the "Rain" spell and stop the burning while at the same time weakening the flaming archer. This rain will make the ground wet though so make sure your air caster doesn't use a lightning spell or you might stun your whole party for a few turns. You'll learn quickly how the environment can change and effect the way a battle plays out.

Gearing your party up is pretty simple. Vendors have a lot of goods varying from basic food items, to crafting and skill based ingredients, to the standard fare of arms and armor. As a vendor gets to know you more and more their attitude towards your individual party members will change and that affects the prices for buying and selling as well as repairs and identification of new magical items. You're also going to find a great number of items via combat you can either use right away or keep on hand to sell for funding your shopping sprees. Also on a related side note your party's inventory is as big as it needs to be. Your characters are only limited by the weight they can carry, which is a lot. I never ran into a problem with carry limits.

vendorinventoryBoth versions of Original Sin also have a crafting system. This means you can make a lot of items to help you along the way as long you have the skill and the ingredients. Everything from food, to magical arrow types, to weapons and armor can be created by you. You'll need the skill and the equipment required to make this happen of course. For instance the basic "crafting" skill will allow you to dye your armors different colors and provide the ability to create thrown items, like grenades that can have effects ranging from damaging enemies to healing your own party members, as long you have the raw ingredients. Likewise cooking is handled with the crafting skill and will allow you to make food that has various effects on your party members, you'll need a cooking pot, but they're easy to come by. "Blacksmithing", allows the creation of weapons and armor and lets you improve items you already have as long as you're near a forge or whetstone. It'll also let you repair your own gear for free from anywhere as long you have a repair hammer or tongs in your inventory.

I personally didn't use the crafting skills much beyond the ability to repair my own items and dye my gear new colors. However, I know of people who spend a lot of time crafting in this game and there are special recipes to be found that can create some pretty spectacular items that can then be improved throughout your time playing. I think during my next play through I'll spend some time making gear and seeing what's out there.

You'll of course want to gear your party members toward their skills and stats. For instance my two main characters are a Knight and a Cleric. I wanted to gear the cleric toward strength and intelligence. Easy enough but it meant I had to sacrifice some constitution or I'd end up with a fairly squishy healer. So I decided to make her a sword and board type and went with a one handed weapon specialty, and shield specialty. The block chance that the shield gave was enough to compensate for the lost constitution and a lot of stat points were made up for by the higher level gear I found as the game went on. This of course meant that I was looking for one handed weapons and shields primarily, and with enough strength she was also able to wear heavier armors without taking as much of a penalty for movement and actions in combat.ClericThis brings me to one of the best and most comprehensive features of this game. Character creation and development. Yeah I know it seems like this should have been much further up in the review but you'll understand why I waited in a moment. As mentioned at the beginning of the article you're creating two main characters when you start a new game. You'll decide the sex of the two and the way they look and also their starting class. Therein is the key *starting* class. You'll choose from quite a few presets and are given points to distribute to get you started, but as you play you're in no way locked in to playing that class. creatorLet's say you started a Rogue, and as you're playing you're deciding you're not really into the class skills or the way the character is playing in general. Well you can decide as you level up to train in different skills, change the way your stat points are being placed and pretty soon you've got pretty decent fighter that can dual wield, or a really stealthy mage class that can also back-stab the crap out of baddies. You can really play however you want to. And at one point ---this is a very minor spoiler so skip to the next paragraph if you just can't handle it--- you'll even gain access to an NPC who can completely refund your points so you can respec your character. The fee for this is great however and I recommend thinking about that choice at length before committing to it. At least give yourself a backup save beforehand.

I chose to more or less stay with the preset classes that I made because I had the idea of what my party should consist of and that really never faltered. I played the game with two Knights, a Cleric and a Ranger. Everyone could take a hit and deal damage, and two of those classes could heal and remove bad status and afflictions. It made for a very well balanced party for me. The problem with the character development being what it is in Divinity Enhanced, is that if you put the game down for a couple of weeks you might forget how you were building your party. That could potentially hamper your progression in a pretty bad way. But if you're like me, you won't be able to stop once you pick it up.pirate cave--MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD-- Before I get to the conclusion I'm going to include one major spoiler. So here's your chance to skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to read about it. And the only reason I'm doing this is because it can cause so much frustration I think some people might just quit the game. It's the only item in this game, either Original Sin or the Enhanced Edition, that I would consider a truly poorly designed element. So the thing is, early on you'll have an opportunity to gain a party member named Bairdotr. She's got a great voice casting and is a very good member to have in your party. If you decide differently then this may mean nothing to you. So Bairdotr's goal in the game is to find a friend of hers who's gone missing. You'll find this out very early in the game, less than 10 hours in. You'll have her in your party investing time and effort and perhaps like in my case, making her a pretty key member. Then around 60 hours in you'll come to discover her friend that she's been trying to find, just through exploration. As you approach this person a dialogue will begin automatically between he and Bairdotr. Now, if you have been staying consistent in your dialogues throughout your play time you'll be gaining traits for your characters. If you've gained the trait "Obedient" by this time, Bairdotr will leave your party and turn against you. There are no indications throughout your dialogues with Bairdotr at any point during your time playing that anything untoward is taking place, and there's nothing you can say or do to change her decision to leave when it happens. I was left mouth agape and fuming. Here I was with a party member that I'd spent the better part of 50-ish hours developing, and just like that, with zero warning, she's an enemy. What the actual fuck is that?! However if your dialogue choices have managed to gain you the "Independent" trait beforehand instead, this is the opposite of the "Obedient" trait, Bairdotr stays with you and all that time you spent building a powerful character won't go to waste. Again though, there is no indication that her attitude toward you has changed until your party is in range of Bairdotr's friend and the dialogue between them starts. I was lucky enough to be able to load a game a couple of hours back and enter dialogues with a couple of other story NPCs that gave me the proper trait and thereby allowed me to keep Bairdotr in my party. You can also cheat the quest by carefully approaching Bairdotr's friend in question with her being kept out of range to engage in dialogue, and just attack and kill the guy without talking to him at all. This will avoid Bairdotr leaving; but the quest is never resolved that way. This was an extremely frustrating obstacle to run across in a title as well polished and put together as this one. My opinion on the subject is that the dialogue should have been handled through the same mini-game that handles arguments with the winning result being "Independent" and the losing result being "Obedient". This would at least give you the chance to keep Bairdotr without dozens of hours of pre-planning; and if you lost, well at least you lost fairly. conclusion imageSo in conclusion, Divinity: Original Sin, Enhanced Edition is a really well made, beautiful and challenging turn based RPG with a great story. One of the best of it's kind in my unwavering opinion, and I'll be playing it through again before too long I'm sure. So would I recommend this title? Does and old Mazda rotary engine require 2-stroke mix oil in the gas? The answer is hell yes it does, and hell yes I would recommend this title! If you like a good RPG, with great mechanics, play this. If you already have Original Sin but haven't picked up and started playing the Enhanced Edition, play this. Is it worth starting over from scratch from the previous version? Probably not, depends on how far you're in already, but you're gonna want to play again at some point and in that case, play this. The changes and additions the Enhanced Edition brings make it basically a new game. It's worth it people! You're going to love it, and if you don't... then you're not my friend anymore.

System Requirements for Divinity: Original Sin, Enhanced Edition are as follows:

MINIMUM:
OS: Windows 7 SP1 64-bit or Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core2 Duo E6600 or equivalent
Memory: 2048 MB RAM
Graphics: DirectX 11 Compatible GPU
DirectX: Version 11
Hard Drive: 10000 MB available space

RECOMMENDED:
OS: Windows 7 SP1 64-bit or Windows 8.1 64-bit or Windows 10 64-bit
Processor: Intel i5 2400 or higher
Memory: 4096 MB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 550 or ATI™ Radeon™ HD 6XXX or higher
DirectX: Version 11
Hard Drive: 10000 MB available space

 

Microsoft Adds Button Mapping to Standard Xbox One Controller

On November 16th, Microsoft added the ability to remap the buttons on your standard wireless controller for your XBox One. Those who want to change their button mapping can either launch the Xbox Accessories app or enter their Xbox One settings. If you don't have the app already, the link above will provide all the information you need to get it.

Remapping through the accessories app works by either swapping buttons or changing individual buttons through drop down menus. Looks altogether pretty simple.swapping mapexampleThose settings will only save on your console however, as the standard controllers don't have any on-board storage. So if you map your controls at home then take your controller to a friend's place, don't expect them to still be mapped the way you want. And sadly as of yet there is no PC support for said remapping, but it's on the way according to Microsoft.

 

[All Image Credits, Microsoft]

Mutator Mashups: Rocket League Adds New Game Modes

On November 9th, the good folks at Psyonix released the new Mutator Mashup mode for everyone's favorite competitive vehicular soccer game, Rocket League. The additions include changes to gravity, ball size and speed, the levels of bounciness, and even automatically filling boost guages.

Along with the new game modes come 20 new unlockables in the form of flags and antennas including Fallout Boy, just in time for Fallout 4. Also involved are a few various fixes and changes, I'll link the full patch notes here.

Game play is still still as fun as ever, but quite a bit different in the mashups. For instance Beach Ball mode, makes the ball around a third the size of the goal itself which is pretty damn big. This is accompanied by and slower ball speed, which can throw off your timing like nobody's business. You wouldn't think it'd be difficult to hit a ball the size of a single car garage, but until you adjust yourself to the different physics the game puts in place it's pretty easy to sail right by it.

As always, click any image to see it full size.

Giant ballGiant goal

In contrast Pinball mode, makes the ball considerably smaller than the original ball size and is super bouncy and super fast. This equates to something like playing paddle ball on the hood of your car while driving 80mph. Because of the balls size it's pretty hard to hit and the slightest touch will send it careening in another direction. I could only really get one good shot of the ball to get an idea of the size and it was at the start of the match.

small ball
A little tough to see, but it's in there.

In Moonball mode, the ball is bigger than normal and your boost guage fills automatically. Gravity is also very low, like crazy low. Jump once while you're moving and you'll probably fly across the arena. Which makes things pretty fun with your quickly filling boost guage.

big ball

There's also the Cubic mode, which presents normal physics but the ball of course will bounce all over the place from its lack of spherical form and your boost guage will automatically fill slowly. This creates some pretty uniqe challenges. Like wtf do I do when it's coming at the goal? This is also one of the original game modes from Super Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars. Pretty cool I say.

square ball

Square goalie
ZOMGsquareballWTF

square

And Finally there's Timewarp mode. The physics are all normal, the ball is the normal size etc. but every few seconds the game goes in to slow motion. This is something akin to playing with induced lag on bad hardware. It's not my personal favorite but like Cubic mode it was an original mode from Super Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle Cars, which makes it cool.

Timewarp

So far it seems you can only choose to join the Mashup playlist to find matches with ever changing random settings, and it's only 3v3 so far. So no choosing your favorite mode yet, at least not online anyway. However you can choose a custom mode in private match and exhibition settings. It's a lot of fun added to what's already an incredibly fun game. And a major plus to all this is that the new game modes and new collectibles are completely free. No DLC to purchase, just a 665mb patch to download and you're ready to roll, so to speak.

Games that suck, except for that one part…

We've all played them. We've all fallen victim to the hype monster. I'm talking about those games we've seen ads for and been drawn to only to purchase them and find out that they utterly blow. Except for that one redeeming quality, the one thing that despite the rest of this steaming, quivering, vomitous mass makes it good enough to play anyway.

For me one title that sticks out in my mind is the truly disappointing, badly voiced, super repetitive, poorly optimized, not scary in the least, Dead Island. dead_island_by_colombian305-d3eqb4z When I saw ads for this game I thought it would be the paramount of zombie titles. It looked like an emotional, and terrifying scene. But what I got were the emotions that took place after the face to palm actions I took while playing this game.

The one good thing I thought it did though was the crafting system. You could make a weapon out of almost anything and recipes were all over. That made it fun enough to play... for a while anyway. I uninstalled that load of garbage less than ten hours later.

What are some titles you can think of that made you throw up in your mouth a little, yet still managed to hold your attention because of that one thing it did right?

 

[Image credits: colombian305, DeviantArt, quickmeme.com]

Divinity: Original Sin, Enhanced Edition – First impression? Still Lovely.

Just a few days ago at the time of this article's writing, Larian Studios released the enhanced version of what is in my mind one of the best turn based rpgs of it's kind: Divinity Original Sin. This new and enhanced version comes with something like 1300 changes including controller support, better graphics, better optimization, 360 degree camera control, full voice over for all characters, even split screen co-op. Of course there are many more than I want to list so I'll link the full changelog here in case you're interested in seeing everything. Even better, Larian gave us lucky folks this enhanced version for free as long we already owned the previous Original Sin title. Mac and Linux users will unfortunately have to wait a bit longer but it's coming so don't fret.

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